The coming months should be good for hauling imported Chilean grapes arriving at U.S. ports on both coasts….Meanwhile, a number of specialty produce items are popular for the Chinese New Year celebrated in February.
Imported Chilean grapes are expected to be arriving at U.S. ports with more volume than in recent years, although arrivals this winter started about a week or two later than a year ago, when arrivals were earlier than normal.
Imports to North America from Chile continues to increase accounting for a larger share of the volume. About 39,000 tons had been shipped this season from Chile through early January, down from 79,000 at the same time last year. But as mentioned, the grapes matured later this season in Chile.
Observers believe the overall grape volume will exceed 90-million cartons, which would be slightly more than average. Arrivals are now coming in good volume, with a steady flow of produce continuing through April. For several years, North American imports have accounted for about 45 percent of the Chilean grapes, that number has been approach 50 percent more recently.
Chinese New Year items
Specialty produce items popular for Chinese New Year promotions should be in good supply for the weeks surrounding the February 16 holiday. The holiday festival itself lasts for two weeks celebrating the Year of the Dog.
Among the items that will be shipped are ginger, bok choy, gai lan and other Asian vegetables, as well as citrus items such as pummelo, kumquats and Buddha’s hand, dragonfruit and young coconut, as well as Snow peas and snap peas. Other items sometimes connected to the holiday are Turmeric, Chinese long beans, daikon, starfruit, jackfruit, yu choy and lokam oranges.
World Variety Produce of Los Angeles markets under the Melissa’s brand and is one of the largest shippers of specialty produce items in the U.S. The company is sourcing leafy greens from California, other vegetables from Mexico and fruit from tropical areas.
Thomas Fresh of Calgary, Alberta is a produce repacker who handles produce specialty an other fresh items.
(Photo was taken by Bill Martin during an 11-day trip Chile in January 1992.)